Craft&Culture


    The Royal Wedding

      1-9-2016
     

    The Royal Wedding

    The Royal Wedding

    The Mapes or Melilit procession, the most sacred ritual.

    The Royal Wedding

    Traditional rotual when two royal families become one.

    The Royal Wedding

    The Royal Wedding

    The Royal Wedding

    The Royal Wedding
    The Mapes or Melilit procession, the most sacred ritual.

    The Royal Wedding
    Traditional rotual when two royal families become one.

    The Royal Wedding

    The Royal Wedding

    Witnessing a grand celebration as Balinese lovebirds from two royal families become husband and wife...

    It was a cloudy morning on January 27, 2016. Heavy rain had just stopped but this didn’t mean the grand celebration in Gianyar was put on hold. That day, two of Gianyar’s royal families, both members of the Dewa Manggis that consists of 14 royal households in Gianyar, were about to become one in a traditional wedding procession. A series of rituals were to be held in accordance with the custom in a Balinese wedding. Ngungkab Lawang was the first ritual, marking the beginning of the whole procession.

    Ngungkab Lawang is a ceremony where the groom comes to pick up his bride. It was surely a happy day for the couple, however, AA Istri Vera Krina Dewi (Vera), the 25-yearold bride-to-be, couldn’t hold back her tears as she listened to the sound of Ngungkab Lawang verses in one of the rooms at Jero Kelodan Puri Abianbase Palace, knowing it was her last day living in her childhood home. Vera held her mother’s hand tightly as she wiped away her tears. Her mother whispered her some encouragement and prayers for her happiness as they left the palace. They were all dressed in traditional white Balinese attire.

    The Ngungkab Lawang continued with the most sacred ritual of all prior to the wedding; the Mapes or Melilit. During this ceremony the bride is wrapped in a long white cloth, like a dead body that is about to be cremated. According to prominent family member Anak Agung Waisnawa Putra, Mapes is only held on weddings between the members of the Dewa Manggis, and that’s why this ceremony is also known as Saling Sumbah, the union of two member families. The Mapes ritual has a deep philosophical meaning as well. It represents the transformation of a young lady entering adulthood as a married woman and symbolizes that the bride is ready physically and spiritually to enter her new life.

    This wedding ritual has been held twice before in Puri Gianyar. The first one was in 1948 when Gianyar King AA Gde Oka married AA Istri Putri from Puri Peliatan. The second one took place in 1973 for the wedding of Princess AA Istri Agung and AA Gde Oka from Puri Sukawati. Puri Abianbase had also performed this ritual in 1989 when my father AA Gde Ngurah Bagus from Puri Rangki Abianbase married my mother AA Rai Sita Laksmi from Puri Rangki Siangan.

    Standing beside me while witnessing Vera doing her Mapes ritual, my mom recalled, “I can still remember when my body was tightly wrapped in a long white cloth. I felt like a dead body. Everyone was crying and the atmosphere was so mystical because the kidung (verses and songs) that are performed for the dead were sung.” While my mother was reminiscing about her special day, hundreds of relatives from the Dewa Manggis family gathered to accompany Vera as she was lying on a bamboo-structured divan. Then the groom, AA Ngurah Agung, together with Hindu high priest Ida Pedanda Gde Ngurah Bun Kaniten and an elderly member of the palace, led the procession to the groom’s residence of Puri Gianyar (Gianyar Palace).

    The Wedding Day
    Two days after the first ritual was held, the much-awaited main ceremony finally took place at Puri Agung Gianyar. The bride was dressed in an elaborate and glamorous gown decorated with gold prints, and looked even more stunning with flower ornaments on her hair. Meanwhile the groom was wearing the classic Puri Gianyar wedding outfit and carried a sacred keris (dagger) known as Ki Raksasa Bedak – which has 13 curves and is embedded with precious jewels. According to AA Gde Raka Payadnya, one of the elderly members of Abianbase royal household, the keris once belonged to an Abianbase soldier who obtained it as a gift from the Pura Dalem Tanjung Temple and gave it to the King of Gianyar. This keris is also believed to have spiritual powers.

    It was 5 p.m. when the peak of the wedding ceremony took place at Mrajan Agung, the family’s shrine in Puri Gianyar. Raka Payadnya stated that the ceremony was held there because both the bride and the groom came from the same royal family clan. Around 1,000 people witnessed this royal wedding, and I was lucky to be among them since this was the first ceremony to be held in 43 years, proving that the legacy of the royal families in Gianyar will always be passed on through the generations.

     
    Agung Parameswara

       Contributor : Agung Parameswara


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